Space centre is the launch pad for new careers
Jobseekers were hoping to be launched into new careers at yesterday's Leicester Mercury jobs and training fair at the National Space Centre.
There were more than 200 jobs up for grabs, as well as information about dozens of career paths and training courses.
Friends Chelsea Shaw and Robyn Allen, both 17, were looking for long-term careers and were considering joining the RAF.
Chelsea, of Thurnby Lodge, Leicester, said: "I just want to find a job and prove everyone wrong who thinks I'm a loser.
"I've done work in telesales but it was rubbish.
"There was no training and people just got agitated when you phoned them up.
"With the RAF you get to travel the world."
Robyn, of Netherhall, Leicester, said: "I'd like to do cooking in the RAF. I asked about hair and beauty but they don't do that.
"I'm starting from scratch really, just trying to find something so I'm not always living off my mum."
Going to the jobs fair was more of a long shot for Hiran Rathod, 32, of Rushey Mead, who is a skilled network engineer hoping to stumble across something suited to his skills.
He said: "I've looked around but it seems to be more about training for new things and I've been in IT for 10 years now.
"I've been unemployed since October when my last contract ran out and it's been tougher than normal to find work."
Most people at the event shared Hiran's view that finding work was tougher than ever.
Steve Taylor, 39, of Hinckley, said: "After 20 years in photography, it's hard to find out how to go about getting a job as I've never had to look before.
"I got most of my work through recommendations. It's a horrible new world.
"At 39, do I carry on with it all or do I change career?"
Musician Shaun Naylor, 37, of Northfields, Leicester, was looking for a job for weekdays to earn more money.
He said: "I think it's good how the job fair's been set out here and everyone seems helpful.
"It's been quite inspiring and there's something for everyone of all ages."
Organisers said the event had been a big success, with positive feedback on the speeches and job-hunting sessions, as well as the extra attractions of the space centre itself. Phil Irons, national recruitment sales manager for Local World, the Leicester Mercury's parent company, said: "Having all the space centre displays here hasn't distracted people from the stalls but I think they've stayed a bit longer and so it's proved a good venue.
"We're very pleased with the number of people we've had and being here has made it a good experience all round."